The depth of the morass that is Eliot Spitzer’s “dirty tricks” scandal keeps getting deeper and deeper. With reports from various sources (legitimate and not so legitimate) indicating a wider “conspiracy” than just Spitzer’s operatives, and rumors running rife, I think it is now time for AG Andrew Cuomo to appoint a Special Prosecutor, with full powers, to properly, and independently investigate this mess.
The latest, coming mainly from the NY Post and Daily News, has not only Albany County DA David Soares being complicit in a cover up (that went south once Spitzer got caught in the prostitution sting), but that Albany Times Union Editor Rex Smith and reporter Jerry Odato were also complicit in fostering and aiding in the dirty tricks. This could be, if even 1/10th of what is rampant rumor is true, it could be very damaging to a lot of folks and institutions here in the Albany area.
Even if neither accusation is proved to be true, they still need to be thoroughly investigated. It has become obvious that the Albany County District Attorney’s office has been compromised in this, and needs to be taken off the case. The State’s “Public Integrity Commission” also is so compromised as to be a potential “co-conspirator” in a cover up. Nor can the Senate’s Investigations Committee handle this, as the specter of political pay-back (no matter how well deserved), will taint any and all efforts they make. The only answer is to get a Special Prosecutor in to wade through it all, and produce a full and comprehensive report on the matter.
It is in the best interests of the State to do this. As anyone who has watched Albany politics for any length of time knows, stuff like this usually ends up as “back page news,” if it gets reported beyond the initial scandal at all. This one is worse, in that a major, and previously well respected newspaper, the Times-Union, has been implicated in this scandal. We need a proper, and full accounting of what transpired, who was involved, to what degree, and when. We know that Albany politics is dysfunctional, and this is an opportunity to do a little house cleaning, and get rid of some people with more ambition than integrity, and to restore some degree of “trust” in institutions such as the DA’s office, and the local press.